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LIS 950: Libraries and community

The purpose of this seminar is to explore an important topic in library and information studies in depth — in all its intertwined historical, cultural, philosophical, and political aspects — through a graduate reading/discussion seminar. The topic varies each time the course is taught; this time around, we will focus on "libraries and community"

Friday, November 04, 2005


Leckie’s and Hopkin’s article reminded me of what has been going on in Minneapolis concerning the building of a new central library. Earlier this week, library officials said the $15 million private fundraising goal had been reached, supplementing the $110 million voters had approved in 2000. The new library plans on an art gallery and adding a planetarium at a later time. The notion of a central library still appears to be at work here, although I don’t know what that means in terms of public sphere since it will be a new meeting place perhaps drawing in one-time visitors or frequent library users.

Pettigrew, Durrance, and Unruh provided a sort of ah-ha moment for me as I realized how immersed I’ve become in the digital CI systems - from listservs, blogging, reading the online newspaper, searching WebMD to understand a family member’s health issues, and finding out about local governmental offices. One thought I had was what happens when individuals at a library terminal are faced with barriers to information (i.e. poor retrieval, nonanticipatory systems, etc.) whether they seek librarians’ assistance or if they plow through on their own? When people appeared lost in the stacks, many librarians would ask if the patron needed assistance. This is not the case when a patron is on the internet...?


Blogger Soojin Park said...

So, what is the librarian's work in the public sphere? Sometime, we don't consider the secondary seriously, such as soft-money. In terms of democracy, the notion of public sphere is critical and is based on voluntary. In this context, what are the elements of the public sphere? Are there any degrees in terms of participation? What about the public libraries' position and the librarians'?

3:55 PM  

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